Ming Ming’s brings vibrant northern Vietnamese fare to Surfers Paradise
If you’re the kind of person that goes out of your way to uncover your suburb’s hidden gems and believe that sometimes, the best – and most authentic – feed isn’t always on the main thoroughfare but in alleyways and unassuming spaces, you need to know about Ming Ming’s Express in Surfers Paradise. Nestled in plain sight on Orchid Avenue (across from Cali Beach), the neighbourhood noshery may not boast the flashiest fit-out in town, but the stream of happy faces in and out is your first indication that there’s more to this venue than meets the eye. Read on for all of the mouth-watering details …
“That was the best food I’ve had outside of Vietnam,” an enthusiastic patron gushes in their post-pho state of satiation. That very sentiment is repeated by almost everyone who walks through the door at Ming Ming’s Express in Surfers Paradise. Having opened in April 2021, the pint-sized Vietnamese place has certainly faced its fair share of challenges in its first year, but for Tony Do and Minh Trang Tran – owners of Ming Ming’s Kitchen in Wilston Village in Brisbane as well as Ming Ming’s Express in Surfers Paradise – they managed to not only survive one of the toughest years in hospitality but have built a dedicated following of folk who cannot get enough of Ming Ming’s flavoursome fare. Hailing from Hanoi, northern Vietnam, Tony and Trang have grown up surrounded by the rich culinary traditions of Vietnamese cooking. Tony’s uncle Esmond Wong, is also the owner of Laksa King Restaurants in Melbourne, so you could even go so far as to say that hospitality is in their blood. While mid-pandemic may not seem like the ideal time to open not one but two venues, for Tony and Trang it presented an opportunity. Thankfully (for our tastebuds), the gamble paid off.
Rather than replicate the full-service model of the Winston restaurant, Tony and Trang concluded that Surfers Paradise was more suited to a grab-and-go express style of service and therefore condensed the menu to feature a selection of northern Vietnamese favourites. Utilising family recipes tweaked to suit Queensland’s climate and produce, Ming Ming’s could be described as traditional with a modern twist. Punchy, bold flavours and freshness underpin the succinct menu, with light bites ranging from Wing Wing’s Mings with teriyaki or garlic fish sauce, salad bowls brimming with vibrant colours and rice-paper rolls. The banh mi layered with your choice of pork belly, lemongrass beef, grilled chicken or tofu alongside the restaurant’s own house-made pate and pickled veg is also a crowd favourite. For serious starvations, the Vietnamese pho (including a northern-style dry pho), vermicelli and rice dishes are guaranteed to fill the void. Ming Ming’s Express isn’t ostentatious or flashy in its fit-out, rather, it has prioritised flavour and personable charm. It’s this mentality that has helped establish Ming Ming’s as a popular community go-to, where customers feel like a member of Trang and Tony’s extended family.
If you appreciate authenticity and flavoursome fare, make tracks to Ming Ming’s Express in Surfers Paradise.
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